CULTURE:  Religion as an Ideology. Nietzsche’s Assessment of Monoteism

Krzysztof Ulanowski 1
1 -
2009; 10 (1):
ICID: 1093940
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
Nietzsche in his philosophy analyzed a number of issues, with religion being one of the particularly fascinating ones. †e word ‘fascination’ is not used accidentally as Nietzsche endlessly looked for new arguments which challenged the religion’s claim of special status and infallibility. While his assessment of the polytheistic religions connected with the ancient Greek culture was very positive, his opinion on monotheism remained consistently negative. Any unilateral assessment in the perspective
of Nietzsche is combined with a restriction of freedom and creativity. Nietzsche recognizes religion as an entirely social product, connected with the ideology of those in power or aspiring to power. He shows that religion has a great number of senses and those that present themselves under the guise of humility seek to exercise power just as de‡ned systems of terror do. Nietzsche brings the idea of God and divinity from the transcendent distance into the purely human domain of exercising power.
Nietzsche conducts his critique of religion on the example of Christianity, carefully distinguishing between the religion of Jesus of Nazareth and the ideological system created by Saint Paul. He connects the origins of Christianity with the camouˆaged development of Judaism. His ideas seem to be an over-interpretation of facts or their misunderstanding. In order to achieve consistency of the presented historical and logical arguments, the author appears to formulate claims that move imagination, but are not proven scienti‡cally. In his assessment Nietzsche uses creative intuition. However, the reader must bear in mind that the interpretation of the German philosopher is not ‡nal and not rebuttable; on the contrary, it constitutes only an invitation to further discussion and individual interpretations.

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